Two of my favorite medicinal (topical) herbs are plantain and comfrey. And that’s basically what the above picture is – the healing properties of plantain and comfrey in a portable, stable form! What are the healing properties of plantain and comfrey, you ask? Good question.
Plantain reduces inflammation and acts as an astringent, making it wonderful for use on stings and insect bites, as well as rashes and burns. It is commonly known as a weed, and can be found almost anywhere.
Comfrey is also known as “knit bone” because of its ability to speed healing of wounds by encouraging new cell growth, as well as being anti-inflammatory and acting as an astringent.
Herbal salves are awesomeness. They condense all the healing goodness of the herbs into concentrated, spreadable green stuff that’s easy to store and use. Who wouldn’t want that? Here’s how you can make a healing herbal salve!
Healing Herbal Salve
- a crock pot
- glass jars
- cheescloth or another kind of fabric for straining
- olive oil
- vitamin E oil
- dried or fresh herbs
- Gather and dry whatever medicinal herbs you have/want to use. You can do your own research, but some ideas to get you started (besides plantain and comfrey) are echinacea, jewelweed, or calendula. You will need a lot of dried herbs.
- Crumble the herbs and fill a jar 2/3 full. Unless you have a super tall crock pot, you’ll probably have to use pint jars so they can be nearly submerged in the crock pot. Side note: the full jar in the picture is probably too full.
- Fill the jar with olive oil so it has about 1 inch of headspace, and put a lid on it.
- Place it on a fabric scrap or rag in the bottom of a crock pot (I’ve always done this, but I’m not sure if it’s necessary… that’s what happens when you learn a skill when you’re 13… six years later I’m not sure if I made that part up or not. 😉 ) and place the jar inside. Fill the crock pot with water and heat on low for 2-3 days. Keep the water level as high as you can. The water should not be boiling, as this diminishes the properties of the herbs. This is called infusing your oil.
- Let the infused oil cool a bit, and strain out the herbs with cheesecloth. Discard the herbs and put the oil in a double boiler so it maintains a warm temperature.
- Add a dash of vitamin E oil and beeswax. A rough estimate of how much beeswax to use is 1 oz beeswax for 8 oz infused oil. When the beeswax is melted into the oil, take a spoonful out and let it cool in the fridge for a few minutes. Once it is set up, test the consistency. If it’s too soft, add more beeswax. If it’s too hard.. either make more infused oil to balance out the amount of beeswax you put in, or deal with it. From experience, hard salve is better than runny salve! You can melt hard salve with your finger, but runny salve can escape from tins and get pretty messy. Keep testing until you get it right!
- Once the consistency in your cooled spoonful is right, pour the salve into labeled containers to cool. And that’s it! This stuff seriously works, guys. Go have some adventures and know that your salve has got your back in case you get a tad too adventuresome. 😉